The EPL’s longest winning and losing streaks

Few domestic leagues are as scrutinised and studied as the English Premier League. England’s top-flight competition has the attention of millions of fans around the world and every game is replayed across all continents. It is the league that most players and managers want to be involved with.

It is also the main focus of attention for many football punters. Students of the game closely study every result and statistic for clues to what may happen next and there has even been considerable academic study relating to the art of predicting which team will win which game.

One of the most widely accepted theories among football betting experts is the principle that when betting on football, you shouldn’t focus on short-term streaks but on the long term. The argument is that short-term sequences of results may give a false picture of a team’s ability when you’re choosing a bet, even on the best betting apps.

Whether this is true or not, there have certainly been many occasions in Premier League history when a team’s winning or losing streak has appeared to be unstoppable.

Arsenal 2003/04 – longest unbeaten run

The arrival of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the mid 1990s was effectively the moment when the Premier League began to develop from a promising national league into an international tournament, overtaking the likes of Serie A and rivalling La Liga for supremacy.

Wenger’s focus on health and wellbeing was initially mocked, but his ability to identity top European talent soon caught the attention of football pundits. Within a few months, he had turned a tired club with a toxic drinking culture into one of the most progressive and exciting in Europe.

Between 1997 and 2005, Arsenal either won the Premier League or finished second in every campaign, winning three titles and four FA Cups. The pinnacle of their achievements under Wenger came in the 2003/04 season.

After a strong start to the season, Wenger suggested that his team could go the entire campaign unbeaten. It was regarded as hubris, but he was right. Arsenal eventually won the Premier League by 11 points and didn’t record a single defeat.

They started the following season in the same fashion, winning eight and drawing one, until a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford on October 24 ended their unbeaten streak at an incredible 49.

The Arsenal team, which featured such stars as Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, arguably the greatest ever Arsenal squad, were dubbed The Invincibles.

Derby County 2007/08 – longest streak without a win

In one sense, Derby County’s famous Premier League streak is the longest of them all, in that it has not yet technically ended!

Under Billy Davies, Derby had been the form team in the Championship before a loss of form over the last 10 games saw them drop into the play-offs.

Nevertheless, they prevailed on a famous day at Wembley and despite takeover talk and concerns about the quality of their recruitment, they kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw against Portsmouth.

Results quickly turned against them and by November, Davies was gone, replaced by Paul Jewell. But confidence had ebbed from the team, and in a run of three crucial games over the Christmas period, Derby three times surrendered late goals to record a draw and two defeats.

That appeared to drain away the last of the team’s self-belief and from the beginning of January to the end of the season they picked up just four points, registering an astonishing 32-game run without a win.

Their disastrous campaign produced a host of unwanted records, including the lowest ever points tally in the Premier League (11) but their winless streak is the most eye-catching of them all – a run of bad form that will still be running if and when Derby ever return to the top flight.

Liverpool and Manchester City – most consecutive wins

For the last three seasons, the Premier League has been dominated by just two teams: Manchester City and Liverpool. Between them, these two grand old clubs have set a number of records and have taken the Premier League to new heights.

The 2018/19 season, for example, saw Manchester City beat Liverpool to the title by a single point, but their combined points tally of 197 was remarkable. Chelsea, who finished third that year, trailed Liverpool by an astonishing 25 points. It was an unprecedented duopoly in Premier League history.

The following season, Liverpool opened the campaign in determined fashion. They won their first eight games before being held to a draw by Manchester United. But that was just a taste of what was to come.

From 24 October 2019 to 27 February 27, Liverpool won every Premier League game, a run of 18, scoring 43 goals at an average of 2.33 per game.

On 29 February 2020, the Reds finally slipped up, losing 3-0 at Watford. A few days later, the season was suspended. When football resumed, in July, Liverpool weren’t able to recapture their form, but they held on to win their first ever Premier League title.

Yet even in registering their run of 18 consecutive wins, Jurgen Klopp’s side were closely matched by Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side had produced a winning streak of exactly the same length, two years earlier.

Between 26 August and 27 December 2017, City won 18 games in a row, as Guardiola, in his second season at the Etihad, led them to the title.

In winning the 2017/18 Premier League, City amassed a record 100 points. City also hold the third highest total in the list of point scorers – 97, while Liverpool are in second and fourth place, a testament to the heights that these two famous clubs have reached in the course of their modern duel.

The EPL’s longest winning and losing streaks

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